Liquid Smooth Amp for $150?
May 19, 2015 at 1:03 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

DryHopped

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Hoping to find a $150 amp that will last me many years and many headphones.
 
I’m not trying to chase that last 10% of performance. I’m not looking for analyticity or wanting to pick out every nuance and detail. I am looking for a liquid smooth and refined sound.
 
Prefer a portable amp, but it’s definitely not a deal breaker. The headphones will be the HD650, possibly followed (in a year or two) by the LCD-2/X, PM-1/2, or some HiFiMANs.
 
Current contenders: Cayin C5 and Magni 2 Uber.
 
May 19, 2015 at 1:17 AM Post #2 of 16

cel4145

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I have the HE-400s. My FiiO E12 (similar power, apparently, to the C5), does a decent job driving them, but my desktop amp is better for loud volumes.

If you don't want an accurate amp, you might consider tube amps.
 
May 19, 2015 at 1:30 AM Post #5 of 16

cel4145

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An amp alone won't have an optical in. For that you need a DAC (digital audio converter). Any amp with an optical input also has a built in DAC.
 
May 19, 2015 at 1:34 AM Post #6 of 16

DryHopped

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An amp alone won't have an optical in. For that you need a DAC (digital audio converter). Any amp with an optical input also has a built in DAC.

Ah right you are. A slip of the mind. :) I was considering the O2+ODAC for a time, but I don't think I want the O2 as my amp. Thought about the HA-2 too, but nothing in the reviews I read sounded real special or anything.
 
May 19, 2015 at 1:55 AM Post #9 of 16

DryHopped

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What amp are you using now?

 
No headphone amp currently.
 
  If you get Cayin C5, consider this upgrade later (ADA4637-1BRZ OPAMPs)....sounds like you describe what you are after.
 
One member posted that upgrade and I took the chance to see how it compared, more transparency, liquid 3D sounding..not dry or sterile...goes well with planars.

 
I'll for sure consider that. The default option isn't sterile either though right?
 
May 19, 2015 at 1:57 AM Post #10 of 16

Lohb

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No headphone amp currently.
 
 
I'll for sure consider that. The default option isn't sterile either though right?


Default option is great as is...slightly warmer compared to new opamp. New Opamps cost circa $30 + fitting though....pick up used is way to go to keep in budget...
 
May 19, 2015 at 2:47 AM Post #12 of 16

jazzfuze

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  If you get Cayin C5, consider this upgrade later (ADA4637-1BRZ OPAMPs)....sounds like you describe what you are after.
 
One member posted that upgrade and I took the chance to see how it compared, more transparency, liquid 3D sounding..not dry or sterile...goes well with planars.

I am well pleased with my C5 but this interests me. Can you explain how one would install this upgrade and what would the cost be? 
 
May 19, 2015 at 6:22 AM Post #13 of 16

Lohb

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  I am well pleased with my C5 but this interests me. Can you explain how one would install this upgrade and what would the cost be? 


Buy the opamps on mouser.com and take the amp to someone qualified to exchange in the new very small opamps (x2)
 
May 20, 2015 at 12:18 AM Post #15 of 16

DryHopped

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The Cayin C5 vs the Magni 2 Uber...
 
Is the Magni 2 more future proof since it puts out more power, or is the Cayin C5 comparably capable?
 
Does one or the other offer a better noise floor, or any significant differences?
 

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